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Posted on Mon Jan 11th, 2021 @ 3:39pm by Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun

Mission: Healing of Minds
Location: Bajoran Village
Timeline: Day 2 - Remal

Remal - Day 2

For Remal Kajun, day two brought with it a sense of renewed determination. If his answers were in the questions he was asking then he needed to reevaluate the questions he was asking. Why him and why here and ultimately what was the challenge, for knowing what was coming could better help him prepare. To be prepared was like having a map and compass to guide oneself along the path. Direction was definitely needed.

As the gong rang out, he threw the small cover they called a blanket back and slipped into the robe someone had delivered to him overnight. The monks were efficient beings and carried out their tasks silently throughout the day, and the night if need arose. He finished sprucing up and stepped from the hut into the fresh grass barefoot where he was immediately greeted by Hops.

“Good morrow Brother. Today your cleansing will begin after morning prayers and breakfast.”

Skeptical, Remal bowed. He knew the routine but had not expected to be pulled along like a dog on a leash the entire time. His desire to find his way, his own way, easily overriding his duty to the Brotherhood. Their path was seeming less and less like the path he wanted to walk, a clear sign that their way was imitating his life.

For now he followed obediently as he was led to a private hut with just the council of five and sat in front of a small fire. Even as the beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, he recited the chants and acted out the words. He even gave the appropriate number of abrems.

After prayers he was led to a separate place where he was allowed a small boys meal consisting of rice, beans and leafy greens. There was no spice, no flavor, nothing to satisfy. Before the monk who delivered his meal left, he stopped him and asked, “What about the coffee bean patch I had tended, what of the bean harvest?”

“Gone.” The monk replied before bowing and leaving him alone to eat his food. As he ate he tried to plan out his day and wondered if seeing Rhenora was on the docket the monks had planned for him. He also wondered how she was faring along and if she had found any answers to the questions she was seeking.

He also thought about what the rest of the say would bring. Knowing the monks as he did and knowing their routine he surmised a bout of manual labor, followed by prayers and possibly lashes and finished off with another small meal and more prayers. There may be a lesson on defense in there somewhere, or was that why he always received the lashes. He soon found out when Barley came to fetch him.

Barley bowed. "The fields await. There is a stump which needs removal. You have been selected."

Tossing his face towel onto the table Remal replied sarcastically, "Of course I have." He stood, and stretched. His arms reaching the ceiling of the small hut. He deadpan peered into Barley’s eyes, “You know I think I’ve always liked Hops better.” Then he gestured for the door, “After you.”

Barley led him out to the fields, a place he had spent many of his young years toiling away for the common goal of the Brotherhood. This time, however his mind wandered as did his eyes. He searched the grounds, the fields for that sweet blonde haired lass who warmed his heart.

So distracted was he that he didn’t notice Hops had stopped right in front of him, next to a large stump. Remal walked right into him, the sudden bump bringing him back to the task at hand. “Sorry Brother Barley. I was…”

“Distracted? Yes, we can tell. If it helps you to know, your bride toiled yesterday and is in quiet reflection for the remainder of the day.” He gestured at the stump, “Please remove this for the benefit of the community. I will check on your progress later.” Without another word, he bowed and then walked away.

Remal looked at the stump trying to jump to the end lesson and ascertain the reason behind the removal of a stump. Looking around he noticed no one else was there to assist him, just an ax and a shovel and his two bare hands. He picked up the ax, gave the stump a calculating look and swung. As he continued to swing, strike after strike, blow after blow he took the opportunity to think about his questions.

“Why me? Who am I to the Wormhole aliens?” To which on the pullback of the ax he paused enough to answer his own questions. “I am just a man.”

Ax fall, “So why me?”
Pull back, “I don’t know, I’m a freedom fighter.”
Ax fall, “Who am I?”
Pull back, “I am a healer.”
Ax fall, “Why me?”
Pull back, “Because I’m funny, no.”
Ax fall, “Who am I?”
Pull back, “A counselor, a helper.”
Ax fall, “Why me?”
Pull back, “My hands have something to offer?” He paused at that line knowing he had always been a man with something to offer. From his days as a child working the fields here in the brotherhood to his days as a field medic in the resistance, he had always been there for others. He had done a number of great things with his two hands.

He had built a life with his hands. A cabin by the beach, a path to that cabin, and a garden along that path. He had healed many with these hands and he had taken many, many lives which he held regrets. There were still a great many things left to do with his hands, but with each person he touched or thing he had done, nothing compared to holding Rhenora’s hands in ceremony. Nothing would match that moment, at least nothing he could think of.

He eyed the stump now as an obstacle. Its stubborn unmoving nature was both physical and an emotional symbol of the struggle within. With renewed vigor, he struck the ax into the hardwood.

Ax fall, “Who am I?” He was speaking loud enough now for his voice to echo off the hillside and deep into the valley.
Pull back, “I am Kajun Remal, husband.”
Ax fall, “Why me?”
Pull back, “Because I have love to spare.”
Ax fall, “Who am I?”
Pull back, “I am Remal, a stubborn ass who loves with all that he is and works hard for others. I. Am. Remal!” Ax fall.

The stump split along its seams, creating a large gap in the center. He eyed the stump for a moment before tossing the ax to the side and grabbing at the pieces with his bare hands. Each piece, at least to Remal, represented a piece of his life which had been in the way of his path. As he plucked them from the earth he imagined removing blocks that stood in his way, The Cardassians and their occupation of his home. Gul Maccet and his vendetta against his bride. Bradre Durr and his revenge plot which almost ruined their vows.Even the years he and Rhenora were separated, a blip in time.

Each obstacle in his life, each challenge he faced, he had done so alone, or with her. Rarely did he ever feel the presence of the ‘Prophets’ upon him. From the day he first had his Orb experience until this day, the path he forged was his own. If anything the Prophets had acted solely as a guide sign in the crossroads of his life. And while Remal was certainly grateful for the point in the right direction, there was a clear distinction between guidance and outright leading on a leash as the Brotherhood often did.

And then there were the handprints in the soil. How many times had he looked down only to see his own hand prints in the earth? He wanted to see them, the Prophets, to tell them he was done being their servant, to yell at them for their interference. And finally to question them for the pain and suffering they allowed to happen despite being ‘Of Bajor’.

Instead as he stood and peered at the hole before him, a hole he had made with his two bare hands all he received was a voice. “In your loud rantings we failed to hear certain words. Words most men, including yourself once, loudly proclaimed but I suspect you’ve lost.”

Remal, sweating and tired turned to face the fifth brother. “Lager. I wondered when I would be graced with your presence. So, what words am I missing, pray tell?”

“The mighty Remal, were you not a man of faith once? Are you not still a man who holds dear everything we know to be true about this universe?”

Remal glanced down at the hole, then up into the sky where on a clear day, one could witness the wormhole or Celestial Temple open and close. Then he peered into Lager’s eyes defiantly and challenged, “I am a man of faith, just not the same faith I once held. I now know my faith is stronger because my faith is based in love, not pain.”

“So then, why do you revisit the same tired path you once tread if your faith can no longer be found here?”

“Because I chose to.”

“Hmm. Interesting. We thank you for removal of the stump. You may clean and eat. Perhaps some reflection after.” Lager bowed, turned and was gone.

He stared at Lager, or rather where Lager stood, for several minutes before his mind grasped what had just occurred to him. Another lesson. This one was obviously about the removal of obstacles that impede one's clarity. Unless it was just about how to remove a stump. They were sometimes vague on the reasoning behind the lesson, much like the Prophets when they offered their help.

He cleaned up his work space, then cleaned himself with a cold water shower from the nearby spring. He then sat and nibbled on the vegetable medley they served him for dinner, while longing for something sweet. His mind was made up. He was ready to face them, the Prophets, the Wormhole aliens, but first he had to find Rhen. She was his key, the center of his bridge and the whole purpose for the path he was on.



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